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The Nature of Tourism / Concept

Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening ‎diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. ‎Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number ‎of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-‎economic progress.‎

Tourism is the "movement of people, spatially and temporally, out of their own communities for leisure and business purposes". A tourist is defined by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) as a "visitor staying for more than 24 hours in a country visited for business or leisure purposes".

Therefore, the term Tourism is an umbrella for all relationships and phenomena associated with people who are travelling, whatever the reason. It has no clear boundaries and could be viewed as an industry itself.

Global Tourism

Tourism has expanded dramatically over the last 50 years and has become a global industry. UNWTO forecasts international tourism to continue growing in 2012 although at a slower rate. Arrivals are expected to increase by 3% to 4%, reaching the historic one billion mark by the end of the year. Emerging economies will regain the lead with stronger growth in Asia and the Pacific and Africa (4% to 6%), followed by the Americas and Europe (2% to 4%). The Middle East (0% to +5%) is forecast to start to recover part of its losses from 2011. These prospects are confirmed by the UNWTO Confidence Index. The 400 UNWTO Panel of Experts from around the globe, expects the tourism sector to perform positively in 2012, though somewhat weaker than last year.


Tourism Industry Forecast

WTO’s Tourism 2020 Vision forecasts that international arrivals are expected to reach over 1.56 billion around the year 2020. Of these worldwide arrivals, 1.2 billion will be intraregional and 0.4 will be long-haul travellers.

The total tourist arrivals by region show that around 2020 the top three receiving regions will be Europe (717 million tourists), East Asia and the Pacific (397 millions) and the Americas (282 million).


Current developments & forecasts:

  • International tourist arrivals grew by nearly 7% in 2010 to 940 million;
  • In 2010, international tourism generated US$ 919 billion (€ 693 billion) in export earnings;
  • UNWTO forecasts a growth in international tourist arrivals of between 4% and 5% in 2011

Source: World Tourism Organization


Exercise for user
What are the top tourist destinations for Europeans?


Facts and figures
Europe, the world's No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe”, EC June 2010

Tourism is a major economic activity with a broadly positive impact on economic growth and employment in Europe. It is also an increasingly important aspect in the life of European citizens, more and more of whom are travelling, either for leisure or business.

European tourism grows above expectations: International tourist arrivals grew by a healthy 4.5% in the first eight months of 2011 according to the latest data from UNWTO. Europe (+6%), surprisingly, showed the strongest growth amid continuing economic uncertainty. International tourist arrivals grew by 4.5% in the first eight months of 2011 to a total of 671 million (29 million more than in the same period of 2010).







Coastal Tourism

Coastal Tourism is based on a unique resource combination at the border of land and sea environments: sun, water, beaches, outstanding scenic views, rich biological diversity (birds, whales, corals etc), sea food and good transportation infrastructure. Based on these resources, various profitable services have been developed in many coastal destinations such as well maintained beaches, diving, boat-trips, bird watching tours, restaurants or medical facilities.

In the middle of the 20th century coastal tourism in Europe turned into mass tourism and became affordable for nearly everyone. Today, 65% of the European holiday makers prefer the coast (E.C., 2011). The coastal tourism sector in Europe is getting increasingly competitive, with tourists expecting more quality for the lowest possible price. Today’s tourists expect more than sun, sea and sand, as was the case two decades ago. They demand a wide variety of associated leisure activities and experiences including sports, cuisine, culture and natural attractions. At the same time, local people in traditional tourist destinations are increasingly anxious to preserve their own identity, their environment and their natural, historic and cultural heritage from negative impacts.

Facts and Figures
The Black Sea is one of the most remarkable regional seas in the world. It is almost cut off from the rest of the world's oceans but is up to 2212 metres deep. The eutrophication of the Black Sea due to the excessive loads of nutrients via the rivers and directly from the coastal countries has led to radical changes in the ecosystem since the 1960es. This has had a major transboundary impact on biological diversity and human use of the sea, including fisheries and recreation.
Six countries border the Black Sea: Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine.
The Danube is the most important river running into the Black Sea. Apart from the Danube, Europe's third and fourth largest rivers, the Dnieper and Don, flow to the Black Sea. The population of the greater Black Sea basin is more than 160 million.

The co-operation for the protection of the Black Sea environment takes place in the framework of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution (Black Sea Convention). The European Union has recently been granted official observer status to the Commission work.

Facts and Figures

The Mediterranean region is the world's leading tourist destination. In less than 20 years, the number of tourists who visit the Mediterranean is expected to increase from 220 million to 350 million (expected in 2020). 84% of the tourists comes from Europe, mostly from northern and western countries. Germany is the largest market followed by the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. Almost 80% of the Mediterranean tourists choose Spain, France, Italy or Greece (WTO, 2003).

One third of global income by tourism receipts is received by the Mediterranean. Over the last three years, 2/3 of this income returned to the hands of less than 10 tour operators from northern Europe (WTO, 2003).

Currently, mass tourism is one of the main causes for ecological losses in the region. Some locations, which were once pristine, are now beyond repair.





Exercise for user
Tourism is:

  1. the movement of people, spatially and temporally, out of their own communities for leisure and business purposes.
  2. Any travel of people out of their homes longer than 24 hours.

Facts and Figures

Black Sea Strategic Action Plan:

Black Sea coastal to achieve environmental conditions in the Black Sea similar to those observed in 1960s.
The key areas where there is an urgent need for new reserves and changes in coastal management practices:

* The Black Sea is still a Sea in Trouble. Algae blooms are still heavy, pollution, although localized, affects biological communities. The restoration of Zernov’s Field will take a long time if it is possible at all. Fish stocks of commercially valuable species, such as sturgeons and turbots, suffer from illegal fishing, pollution and destruction of their habitats.

* The process of the recovery of the Black Sea will take a long time and will require implementation of all measures provisioned in the Black Sea Strategic Action Plan as well as future provisions.

* There are gaps and lack of scientific knowledge and information on many processes and phenomena that are needed for policy and decision-making.

* The sustainable development of societies and the wellbeing of the coastal population shall become priorities for the governments of the Black Sea Coastal States.

Facts and Figures
Did you know that a coast is the most preferable type of tourist destination?

Most European holiday makers choose the sea (63%). Other main types of destinations are the mountains (25%), cities (25%), and the countryside (23%). At one end, eight out of ten Greeks chooses the sea - (most probably the sea in their home country). At the other end, only three out of ten Finns makes the same choice.



Facts and Figures

Mediterranean - one of most endangered ecoregions globally

WWF has identified 200 regions in the world (called eco regions), which are crucial for the conservation of biodiversity. One of these globally important regions and one of the most endangered is the Mediterranean.

The 10 key marine areas where there is an urgent need for new reserves and changes in coastal management practices:

- Moroccan Mediterranean Coast and Alboran Sea, Coral Coast of Tunisia (Spain, Morocco, Tunisia)
- Dalmatian Coast and Islands(Croatia)
- Cyrenaica and Gulfs of Sirte and Gabes (Libya, Tunisia)
- Southern Anatolia and Northeast Levantine Coast and Sea (Turkey)
- Aegean Sea and Coasts (Greece, Turkey)
- Sardinia and Corsica (Italy, France)
- Balearic Islands and Sea (Spain)
- Liguro-Provenzal Sea (France, Italy)
- Southern Tyrrhenian Coast and Sea (Italy)
- South-Western Balkans Coast and Sea, Ionian Islands (Albania, Greece)


Exercise for user
With specific reference to coastal use, make a list of a set of potential positive environmental effects and a set of potential negative environmental effects associated with tourism development.



Exercise for user
Do you think that the ageing population has an effect on tourism?